Fosun Tourism Group, the leisure travel unit of Chinese conglomerate Fosun International, announced that it has re-launched the Thomas Cook brand as a lifestyle online platform globally.
Founded in Britain, Thomas Cook with a history of nearly 180 years was regarded a pioneer of modern global tourism. As one of the largest tour operators in the world, Thomas Cook was dominant in the European leisure tourism market. However, it went into liquidation in September 2019, and Fosun Tourism subsequently acquired its intellectual property rights for £11 million.
More than eight months later, Thomas Cook has been restyled by Fosun Tourism as a brand new online platform, aggregating the products and services under the portfolio of Fosun Tourism. The platform will also bring in merchants providing lifestyle services to connect directly with consumers.
When asked how it is differentiated from other OTA platforms such as Trip.com, Jim Qian, chairman and CEO of Fosun Tourism, said, “It’s totally different from other platforms. As part of Fosun Tourism, Thomas Cook aims to create an ecosystem based on products. However, the products it provides are not simply for a trip but also represent a lifestyle.”
He said that the Thomas Cook app had about 110,000 downloads within just two days. Currently, the app was an early version, and more functions and products would be developed to meet travelers’ needs for leisure tourism and promote scenario consumption. For instance, in the future, the platform would enable travelers to take a trip in Sanya and buy local specialty agricultural products at the same time.
Along with the new platform launch, four new Thomas Cook-affiliated hotel and resort brands were also announced as part of Fosun Tourism’s plan to strengthen its FOLIDAY ecosystem.
The acquisition and integration of Thomas Cook’s brand assets converges with Fosun Tourism’s strategy of integrating industry operation with strategic investments.
Although severely hit by the outbreak of Covid-19, Fosun Tourism would continue to invest in target companies with potential synergy or collaboration, said Mr Qian.